Continuing on from yesterday’s post of Chapter IX from The True Method of Dieting Horses (1731):

“But those which draw stagecoaches into the country are exposed to several accidents, and their labor is, for the most part, pretty hard; though this is oftentimes owing to the driver or stagecoachmen, who rather than not indulge themselves by tarrying too long at some places, are forced to hurry over a good part of the way, that they may accomplish their set journeys. Sometimes those persons, though they are thoroughly acquainted with the road, take no great care, but where they are good, drive their horses until they are all in a foam; and in that condition bring them into places, which are either deep with water or clay, and where they cannot move but at a very slow pace, whereby they are exposed to great colds. But although a constant use upon the road may habituate the bodies of those horses, so as they may bear frequent heats and colds, without any immediate injury; yet such usage as this must unavoidably be felt one time or other, and horses that have been treated after this manner soon grow old and unserviceable.

“It is no doubt reasonable, as well as necessary, for all coachmen to make the best of their way, where the roads are good; but they ought, at the same time, to drive softly before they come into those parts, where they cannot move a sufficient pace to keep their horses in a reasonable degree of heat. These instructions may also be useful to gentlemen’s coachmen, who often fall into the same error when they go into the country. But the hazard is the less, with respect to them, as they are commonly better provided with a number of horses, by which means they not so tedious, but get through the bad way sooner than the other, especially when their horses have been used to the country roads.”

To be continued …